North West volunteers making a difference to the lives of Ukrainian refugees on the Polish border

ITV Granada Reports journalist Victoria Grimes met volunteers from the North West who are making a difference in Poland.

People from across the North West have undertaken moving displays of kindness after travelling to Poland to help Ukrainians made homeless by the war.

Amid the saddest of scenes - on the Medyka border, and at Przemyśl, ITV Granada has met people who have travelled there to give out food, offer medical treatment, as well as others who just wanted to help with anything at all.

Przemyśl, a city on the Polish-Ukrainian border, has become the site of Europe's biggest refugee crisis since the second world war.

It is estimated more than 1.7 million people have fled Ukraine into neighbouring Poland, with a steady stream arriving on foot through the crossing at Medyka.

From there refugees are bused to the local reception centre in a disused shopping centre at Przemyśl, where their details are taken, and they are able to find transport to their final destination.

Paul Stratton is one such volunteer.

He is using his annual leave to be on the border in Medyka - handing out chocolate, the one thing which transcends both language and borders

Paul flew 1,300 miles from his home on the Wirral and since arriving the former police officer, who now works for Liverpool Council as a fraud investigator, has been handing out the snacks to exhausted families nightly, often staying until 3 or 4am.

He has also helped to provide laptops alongside his brother Gary who used to serve in the armed forces, to the Przemyśl reception centre, set up in haste to try and process the volume of evacuees coming through the city.

Paul says: "We stand right on the border so the first thing the kids see when they enter Poland is us, they have a smile on their face and they take as much chocolate as they want.

"That's the impression we want of Poland for them. It’s a bit of laughter for them, it takes away - they don’t know what's happening.

"It just gives them 10 or 20 seconds of happiness, and the mother too."

Wendy Warrington says she felt 'compelled' to help.

The qualified nurse and midwife, from Tottington, has joined forces with a medical team in Przemyśl working as a first responder alongside two medical students.

Her skill set has already been put to work as she helped to reassure a mother, who is six months pregnant with a baby girl.

'Olga' had been travelling for days and told Wendy she was worried sick, but thanks to the midwife - she was able to hear her baby's heartbeat.

Wendy says: "This is what I came to do. It's such a small thing for me to just do that check on her, but that massive reassurance that it’s given her so it’s been worthwhile, even if I’ve helped one person.

"She came in quite anxious and stressed and she’s gone away smiling, and for me my job is done."

Stephen Bratherton, who lost the use of his left leg three years ago, says he is willing to take a Ukrainian family wherever they want to go.

He left home in Crewe, embarking on a three day journey with 40 burns treatment kits, which are being sent to medics in Lviv dealing with casualties from the Yaroviv military base attack.

Stephen has now volunteered to drive refugees to friends and family across Europe, and has vowed to take a Ukrainian family to anywhere in Belgium or Holland.

Although he finds walking hard he says he can “drive all day long”, and now wants to take those fleeing the Russian fighting to the safety of friends and family.

He wants his efforts to show others they can help too, adding: “I just hope this inspires more people to come and do what I’m doing, because if I can do it being a disabled person it’s easy peasy for others to do it.”

Many volunteers have made huge sacrifices to help.

Nathan travelled all the way from Moston in Manchester to the Medyka border to help with the humanitarian effort.

He had to sleep in the snow until someone gave him a tent. He said sleeping in the tent is like "5-star luxury" compared to lying in the snow.

Nathan added that the stream of refugees is "relentless" and that most people are carrying their "whole lives in one bag".